Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wedding Bells for Beatrice - 1995

Beatrice Crawley is a tall luscious 5'10" she's a head taller than dear old dad (who sounds like he must be vertically challenged). She's as close to British royalty as The Venerable Neels allows her heroines....the great granddaughter of an earl (do you suppose he's a "belted earl"?).
Her first thought on seeing Gijs at a Christmas party is "He doesn't like me." Beatrice then proceeds to be snappy and rude...lighten up, girlfriend! She knows she needs to apologize so she heads over towards Gijs as he is talking to the rector - who leaves her with Gijs after this parting shot: "I leave you in good hands; Beatrice is a sweet girl." Gijs has a bit of a sly sense of humor: I'm delighted...and surprised to hear that. So much for apologizing. Beatrice is now bitter and rude. Again, what's not to like?
Little brother George comes home for Christmas break - with his dirty laundry, unwrapped presents, and a hollow leg. Beatrice puts his clothes in the washer, wraps his presents and feeds him fruitcake...all of which I, as a mother of 5 boys, disapprove of. It's not until she goes over to the church and rewires the fairy lights that I start warming up to her.
After Christmas, Beatrice heads back to St. Justin's, to take up the reins of 'administrator' of the building that houses the Path Lab. She has her own little flatlet on the top floor, with her office down on the ground floor. Enter social climbing boyfriend Tom the Toad. Self-important, conceited, condescending, ambitious, smug...Beatrice realizes that she has let herself drift into something more than a casual relationship with this toad. Tom the Toad takes Beatrice out for a bite to eat after she works a long hard day. His idea of a 'bite', is to have one small plate of sandwiches - and then to devour all of them but one. This does not endear him to our statuesque heroine...neither does his assumption that she will marry him. Her, "...I don't want to marry you." is ignored...he proceeds to inform her that she'll be a splendid wife...with all the 'right connections'...toad.
Her: I don't want to see you again.
Him: Oh, you are a silly girl. I'll change your mind. (then leaves without opening any doors for her)
Her: "Yes, I am a silly girl. For not having seen sooner that you are nothing but a coward with a heart full of fear." (Alright, you caught me...that last line was from The Princess Bride...but it goes so well here...)
Tears of anger and frustration dribble down her cheeks as she walks into....Gijs? Yup. He's in London to read a paper on her very own Path Lab building...his large hanky is handy for mopping up - he follows her up to her flatlet and goes avuncular on her, so she opens up like a guest on Oprah about the cause of her tears. My family didn't like him much, when he found out mum was an earl's granddaughter his social climbing toadiness jumped right up. Then he took me out tonight and ate all the sandwiches. "I knew that I didn't love him then - well, any girl would, wouldn't she? At this point, I totally forgive her for her initial rudeness to Gijs. Gijs invites her out for a belated supper -so off they go, in his great socking Bentley. Having a full tummy helps restore Beatrice's spirits tremendously (it has much the same effect on Betty Keira) - she fills Gijs in on the details of her working life. He takes her back, and like some sort of Door Opening Super Hero proceeds to open the car door, the path lab door AND her flatlet door.
Next day dawns on some kind of medical conference occurring in her building. Beatrice is in charge of making sure it all goes smoothly - ticking names off a list, helping elderly men out of their overcoats, making sure refreshments and lunch are ready...she peeps in during Professor van der Eekerk (yes, that's Gijs's name) - he's going on about haemolytic anaemia, jaundice Rh factor, polycythaemia, etc...then it's tea time again. The cook is amazed at their capacity to talk about blood and eat at the same time... "like a swarm of locusts...and 'ow they can eat and drink and talk about blood beats me though I must say 'e 'oo did the talking is something like. Wouldn't mind 'aving a lecture from 'im." (which sounds perilously close to "he can eat crackers in my bed, anytime") As Beatrice is finishing tidying up, in comes Tom the Toad, trying to wheedle and charm...but Beatrice is uncharmable and unwheedlable. Toadish Tom is getting a little too pushy, Gijs comes riding in on his white charger and squashes the toad, offers Beatrice a quick meal at Alfred's Place (think greasy spoon), and off they go. The waitress is awestruck at the thought of seeing an actual, real, live professor...
Gijs: 'I feel that I should have horns or a beard and a basilisk stare at the very least.'
Beatrice: you do look like one...only you're a bit too young...
Gijs: I'll start the beard first thing in the morning
Beatrice: No! I mean professors are elderly, grey-haired, forgetful and unworldly...
Gijs: I have grey hairs, but I rather like the world. I can be forgetful and in a few years I'll be elderly.
At which point it is time to exchange vital statistics. Gijs is 37, Beatrice is 28. Nice point spread there.
And now, in the interest of world peace, global standardization, and a 'step forward in the unification of Europe', Beatrice gets a foreign exchange job dropped in her lap. Or maybe on her head. She is to go to Leiden for at least a month and do the same job there...and a Dutch woman will come over and do hers. Mum thinks it's a great maybe meet that charming man from the Christmas party.
Meanwhile, Toady Tom is lurking in the shadows, trying to make a play...but Beatrice has been successful at avoiding him, that is, until New Years Eve. Toady Tom takes a sharp left turn into Stalker Valley - he accosts her in the parking lot, as she is going out to a party..."Still playing hard to get? I'm not taking no for an answer." Wow. Does anyone else think that sounds a wee bit threatening? Gijs does not miraculously pop out of the pavement to rescue her...but she does run into him at the New Years Eve party. Her mum is there too, and wouldn't you know it, she's already on a first name basis. 'Gijs, indeed.' thinks Beatrice. Gjis Indeed is a very good dancer...who just so happens to have a motherless seven year old daughter. You heard right, Gijs is a daddy.
Beatrice: "You should marry again..."
Gijs: Great minds think alike...
Mrs. Crawley hides her disappointment when Beatrice informs her that Gijs is planning to marry...was her spidey sense wrong? Hmm. We'll just have to wait and see.
Gijs gives Beatrice some idea of what to expect during her foreign exchange...and then offers to send her a couple of books on Holland. Study up, girlfriend. A hospital porter delivers the books a couple of days later. One was a modern history of the Netherlands...doesn't sound too bad...the second dealt with constitution, laws and politics. Really? Sounds like slow going to me.
Foreign Exchange Program. Turns out Beatrice is not the only hospital employee headed for Holland. Sister Watts has also been tagged as an Ambassador to the Netherlands. In Holland, Hetty Zilstra is assigned to show Beatrice around - she has nothing but praise for "our Gijs" (I'm imagining a deep sigh before and after "our Gijs"). Beatrice gets settled in to the Dutch hospital just fine (remember, everyone except cleaning ladies and cooks speak English in Holland)
Gijs returns from a trip unexpectedly, and Beatrice is unexpectedly delighted. Our Gijs asks Beatrice to spend her day off with him...
Beatrice: "...I was going to go shopping..."
Our Gijs: "Would you like to spend the day with me, Beatrice?"
Beatrice: "Yes, please."
Our Gijs: *kiss*
Gijs has a lovely home, and daughter Alicia is as cute as a button with her Alice band. Our Gijs takes advantage of the situation and asks Beatrice if she'd like to spend her next day off with them. Of course she can't say no when there's a seven year old in the room - but she is a bit vague. Beatrice doesn't get a tour of the house yet, but she is treated to a tour of the grounds, complete with stables, in which we find one standard issue pony, ditto one donkey (rescued from abusive 'travelers') ditto one horse. Alicia doesn't go to sleep that evening until indulging in a spot of emotional blackmail - a promise is extracted from Beatrice to visit the following week. Abstract reasons for marriage are discussed...the sordid tale of Our Gijs' first marriage is recounted (Zalia was a party girl, left before Alicia was one to live in Italy with her American boyfriend, then conveniently died in a car accident). A kiss on the cheek goodbye. A kiss on the cheek hello...will you marry me? Huh? What'd I miss? Our Gijs promises to share his sandwiches with her, unlike Tom the Stalker Toad. "It's all so sudden." (cringe. Really, Betty?) Think about it, says he... Our girl is then 'treated' to a phone call from Stalker Toad Tom..."Missed me? I bet you're dying to see me...I've forgotten your little outbursts..." *SLAM* Down goes the phone, *RING* There goes the doorbell - it's Gijs and he can see something is wrong...Beatrice tells him all about the harassing phone call and Our Gijs comes up with a perfect ten-step plan.
Step 1: Have adorable seven year old gush about the dress she'd like to wear to the wedding.
Step 2: Don't refer to proposal...let her stew.
Step 3: Loads of casual kisses on the cheek.
Step 4: Give her a poesy ring with romantic inscription. "You and no other."
Step 5: Throw adorable seven year old at her as a bit of blackmail.
Step 6: Back on the burner to stew again.
Step 7: Let her go back to England with nary a good-bye.
Step 8: Send her masses of roses.
Step 9: Let her see Stalker Boy again. He can be depended on to harass.
Step 10: Show up unannounced and let her throw herself at you.
Result: One Dawning Realization. Easy peasy. Bring on the Marriage of Convenience. Shall we marry right away? "We are both mature people, are we not?" Oops. Our Gijs is just about to be sent back to Step 1 - Beatrice is bubbling with rage at being called "mature". Editor: I'm not quite sure why that should rankle so much, but I admit that even at age 50 I'm not overly fond of being called mature. Gijs gives a remarkably nice apology and agrees to wait a couple of weeks while Beatrice gets a wedding organized. Yup. Our girl gets to have a wedding dress and veil. Per his request. Twenty guests each, extras can come to a reception at Casa de Crawley. Mrs. Crawley is a little puzzled by Gijs saying that he had thought about taking Alicia back to Holland with them after the wedding (what about implied conjugal relations, she wonders...) Standard RDD issue sapphire engagement ring is brandished..."It's beautiful, but may I still wear the poesy ring?"
It's time to get down to brass tacks and get that wedding dress sorted out. Beatrice and Mum go to Bath and get some ivory satin, then bring it back to the village to have Miss Fish, the local seamstress whip it up with her magic fingers. Editors Note: I like the fact that whenever wedding dresses are called for in Neeldom, they are made up in a fairly timely manner. None of this months and months for alterations silliness.
Weeks have turned into days, and now it's the day before the wedding. Time to meet the in-laws...and to get an eyeful of Gijs in a dinner jacket. "Even if she hadn't fallen in love with him already...she would have done so now. Dinner-jackets were made for men such as he."
The wedding was lovely, then it's off to Holland, the village people (altogether now, YMCA, it's fun to stay...never mind) gather to welcome the new couple, Gijs carries Beatrice over the threshold...No,no, you weren't too seems good, all Beatrice has to do is...*RING*...oh, hello Mies....(50% of all Dutch villainesses are named Mies...kidding). Mies is invited to dinner. Gijs even goes so far as to request some of her favorite dishes be served for dinner and offers the fact that Mies is small and dainty and can eat anything she wants without gaining weight (insert sound of grinding teeth here). Mies turns out to be not quite what she expected. For one thing, she has thick ankles - and she's fairly non-catty. She does offer to help Beatrice with any party planning...which offer Beatrice plans to accept just as soon as a certain netherworld region freezes over. The next day Beatrice takes the car out for a drive in the country. All is well and good until the freezing rain starts...and the road ices up. She has to stop because of an accident blocking the road - and it's quite a while until the police come and call Gijs for her. He looks furious when he gets there. Well, of course he would - he's been worried to death about her - but she doesn't know that - only that he's mad at her. They have a very quiet ride back home - but that all changes when they walk in the door. Besides the faithful household help and Alicia, Mies is there and SURPRISE!!! Guess who I brought home, honey? It Toady Tom! I sure didn't see that coming. Instead of Mies being a villainess, she turns out to be practically a benefactress to Beatrice, by taking Tom totally off the market. Beatrice is not quite happy about the situation - she knows that Tom is a toad, but Mies is one step ahead of her. She also know that Tom is a toad (her word is actually philanderer!), but Mies plans to wear the pants in the family and wield the purse strings. She won't let him wander far. Sounds a bit dire for Tom, but hey, he deserves it.
And now for some angst. Gijs calls Beatrice one evening and tells her not to wait up for him. She can hear glasses clinking in the background and a woman's voice - sounds like a party! She does wait up, and then chews him out royally for staying out so late. "You may as well have made a night of it!" She nearly throws a vase at him - but he manages to forestall that. She finds out the next day that he had been busy with a medical emergency - a fight having occurred at a restaurant (thus the clinking glasses). She feels horrible about it, but Gijs won't let her apologize - which I think is a bit stinky of him. Then he goes off to Northern Ireland to put himself in harms way for a bit. She still feels horrible - he's gone for days, then comes back just barely in time for the hospital ball. When he dances the obligatory last waltz with her, she takes the opportunity to tell him that she loves him...he waltzes her out to the conservatory...I love you too, snogging, what do we do now? Let's go home! The end.
Verdict: I wasn't too sure of this one at the start - when Beatrice and Gijs first meet she's snappy and rude. I thought to myself, "Oh brother! Not another one of those." And it wasn't. Thankfully Beatrice warms up to Gijs pretty quickly - and manages to be fairly honest with him (except for that little thing about being in love...). Gijs was fun for me - he was always teasing her when she talked about the weather, and I do love an ongoing tease - when it's not mean-spirited - which it wasn't. I loved how he was a bit of a matchmaker for Mies and Tom. I didn't love how stand-offish he got all of a sudden when Beatrice reamed him out for staying out late, and then went out of his way to not let her apologize. My other complaint is that not very many of the supporting characters are really fleshed out. Because of that I think I'll give this one a boeuf en croute.
Fashion: Ivory wedding dress, 'safe' dress to meet the in-laws in, Tattersall check suit, hyacinth blue jersey dress worn with low heeled leather lace-ups, silk crêpe in old rose, long velvet coat, dark grey dress with white collar and cuffs, thick tweed skirt, angora sweater.
Food: Lobster mousse twice! pheasant, bombe glacé, castle puddings, lamb cutlets, turkey, Christmas pudding, fruitcake, hospital stodge, chocolate mousse, beef casserole with dumplings, boiled celery in a béchamel sauce (ew).


  1. Great review, I now want to read the book!
    Btw, I just finished "Never the time and Place". Please consider the above mentioned book for review. The first and only Neels book (that I've come across) where the gal tells the RDD- "next time, I'll slap you"!!!

    Request to the Grand Poobahs- can we make Sean Connery's picture a "standard issue" for all reviews **sigh** dinner jackets were made for men like him ;D

  2. Betty Barbara here--
    I will gladly second the motion on the Sean Connery in a dinner jacket photo. Sigh.
    I must confess, though, that the cover you showed scared me. Yes, fellow Bettys, the sight actually gave me a bad case of the 'icks'. Just look--George Hamilton as the groom!and I do not like the way he is looking at the little girl with the flowers!!
    All attempts at humor aside, the cover illustration looks like it was lifted from one of the frothy women's magazines of the 30's or 40's.
    Great review, as usual.
    Raises the question though--why do so many of Betty's Olivias find themselves dating or engaged to such toads? (Upcoming Heidelburg Wedding has such a plot line too.) Inquiring mind wants to know.

  3. Sean Connery is no Cary Crant but he will do in a pinch.

  4. How come there's been no Gregory Peck?--He wins hands down, followed by Sidney Poitier and Sean Connery.

    I would also like to cast a vote for working in Clint Walker (he could pass for a massively-built Friesan).

  5. Wow, you're right, we need us some Gregory Peck.

    Ditto Sidney Poitier.

    I had to Google Clint Walker...and you're right...he's a shoe-in for a vast Friesan.

  6. Betty Debbie, you had to Google Clint Walker?!? I thought you were a um**mature** Betty (put down that shoe, especially if they are splurged-upon court shoes--hitting the monitor might damage their fragile nature).

  7. Betty JoDee: It's a good thing I'm barefoot. Yes, I'm the, ahem, 'mature' one. I plead the fact that we Hanna Bettys had a very limited number of channels on tv back in the stone-age. As I remember it, we had 3 and one of those was a local channel. I'm sure I've seen every episode of Perry Mason, Hogan's Heroes, Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island...however, there are glaring gaps in my TV Land knowledge. Partly due to the lack of accessability. I didn't have an older brother...and evidently our dad didn't go in for westerns.

  8. I have to admit that "Cheyenne" was a bit before my time as well, but once you've seen that chest you don't forget.

    One word: Netflix.

    Meanwhile, try this:
    (don't worry, "Fred" Benteen--and Maj. Marcus Reno--fare better than Custer in the end)

  9. Oh my word, we will definitely be working Clint Walker in. Next time we've got a 'giant' to cast - he's our man!

  10. I've just found this site and thought I was alone in my Betty-ness... well truthfully I joined the Facebook page. The review was fabulous... I also enjoy this story as well.

    Is there somewhere on this site for general Betty discussion?

    You guys are hilarious...made my day.

  11. Welcome Betty Ilana! We're happy to be found.

    You can start any kind of Betty discussion that you'd like in any one of the blog posts as the most recent comments appear on a sidebar. Don't worry if it has nothing to do with that particular thread. We're not fussy Bettys.

  12. Thanks a bunch Betty Keira. This seriously has me chortling... something none of our Neels heroines would do.

    I do have several questions for the group:

    1. Don't some of the really big age differences creep you out (we're talking over 11 years or so).

    2. Also, is there anywhere on here where we can learn how to pronounce Rijk? And what the a kaas brodje is???

  13. Google Translate has a sound button - the words are pretty computery sounding, but it gives a hint. Rijk sounds like Rike - for what it's worth.

    I think kaas brodje is literally "cheese bread" - feel free to correct me.

    Age difference. I find it best to just not think about it...though, in all fairness to The Great Betty, I think marriages with largish age gaps were more common in her day. My in-laws were 14 years apart - and it worked out fine for them. That said, I'm glad that Dr. van der Stevejinck and I are less than a year apart - even though we didn't grow up in the same states we do have a lot of common cultural, movies, politics, fads, etc.

  14. I think a "kaas brodje" is more accurately a cheese sandwich.

    As long as the female is twenty, I don't mind much. I prefer for them to be in their late twenties (probably because that was my age of marriage).

    My grandmother was seven years OLDER than my grandfather (very unusual in that day), but given the different life spans that really is the smart move so that one comes out even at the end.....

  15. I liked this one up until the rather silly faux-angst at the end.

    I too was completely shocked ("shocked I tell you") when Tom reappeared! And that he should end up with Mies? Not sure who I feel for there...

    Okay, so here's what I don't get about RDDs, MOCs, and kissing. In romances where the hero is already engaged to a Veronica, he's still all kissy-kissy with the heroine. Kisses on the cheek, no problem. But kisses on the mouth? Very intimate. Hard kisses on the mouth? No he shouldn't! Not while there's a Veronica out there with reasonable expectations of exclusivity, he should not be kissing the heroine. Full stop.

    And the heroine never, ever reads anything in to the kisses. She's always thinking, "Oh, that doesn't mean anything..." even after he's kissed her thoroughly enough that she's aware what a good kisser he is.

    But in the marriage of convenience books, like this one, the RDD doesn't kiss her on the mouth -- even though he's in love with her (and quite recognizably so) from the first page. Gijs does just a couple of times, the cheek-buss is a bit more prevalent, but mostly he just leaves her.

    So my question is this: Where RDD is trying to get his bride to fall in love (so they can get onto the implied conjugal relations!) and his bride is trying to get him to fall in love with her, why aren't they kissing each other?

    I understand why The Great Betty may have shied away from that. (Because printed on the back of the marriage certificate is the Map Quest instructions for which A-road takes you to Brighton... and she was not having her married-but-not-yet-aware-of-each-other's-love couple taking that drive yet!) But it doesn't make sense when two relatively bright people like Beatrice and Gijs are busy all the time sucking their lips in so nothing shows... Why isn't either of them figuring, "Maybe a little kiss to let [her]{him} know what [she]{he} is missing - - "

    That strikes me as basic strategy. No?

  16. If I think about the lack of kissing between married-and-in-love-but-not-telling-each-other that occurs with distressing regularity in Neeldom, my head will explode. Especially if they've had a good kiss or two and then the RDD BACKS OFF!!! Grrrr.

    Thankfully the book I read today (Only By Chance)doesn't have any implied lack of post-marriage snogging.

  17. Dear Dense Bettys,
    MOC couples do not kiss often or well because if they did they would not be MOC couples for long.
    You're welcome.
    Betty JoDee

  18. Dear Dense Betty JoDee,
    I agree. But where both halves of a MOC couple have expressed or implied the active goal of NOT being an MOC couple, wouldn't they be trying more kissing for that very reason?
    Thank you,
    Betty Magdalen

  19. In All Else Confusion, Annis at least swans about their non-implied-conjugal-relations-suite trying out sexy poses for our hero to notice. Too often, we see them achieve a MOC and then stop trying entirely...

  20. Betty Keira -- Yes! They get married and then stop kissing!

    Too often, we see them achieve a MOC and then stop trying entirely... <-- That is exactly what I'm talking about. And Annis is pretty and knows she's pretty, hence the swanning around. (Not that this explains Beatrice, who's maybe not quite the stunning beauty that Annis is, but is still an Olivia-esque heroine.)

  21. Dear Dense Bettys Part Deux,
    If an RDD in a MOC then starts kissing, in essence seducing, his bride then it is not part of the agreement and hardly gentlemanly, particularly if he doesn't know that his feelings are reciprocated. Plus, kissing in marriages can lead to activities that are inappropriate between conjugal parties who are not in love (how awkward).
    You're welcome again,
    Betty JoDee

  22. I don't even need them to kiss (agreeing that it would lead to things more beyond the Betty ken) but I found Annis' posing in All Else Confusion so out of the ordinary (and so appropriate to the situation) that I just stared. Usually, all we get is a scrap of a bodice and a pink lamp shade to get us anywhere...

  23. Dear Dense Betty JoDee Part Deux-and-a-half,

    If an RDD is hardly gentlemanly when he's kissing someone whose feelings he doesn't yet know, how does that explain the legion of RDDs who kiss the heroine both before he knows her feelings for sure AND while he's committed to Veronica, whose [murderous] feelings he can all too well guess? So he can be ungentlemanly BEFORE marriage and that's okay, but once they're hitched, all kissing ist verboten?

    Plus, that only explains -- however poorly -- the prohibitions on his kisses. What about hers? She knows she loves him, she knows she wants him to love her, so what's wrong with a gentle kiss to remind him she's around, available, as well as to suggest, subtly, that loving her could have benefits. ("Now boarding, the 2:10 Express to Brighton. Al-l-l aboard!")

    Thank you again,

    Betty Magdalen

    P.S. I'm taking "Dense Betty" to be a value-added encomium, referencing how tightly packed with extra Betty goodness we all are. Right?

  24. Dear Splendidly Dense Bettys,
    Veronicas are amoral and without ethics so they don't fit into the kissing equation (we know they're off snogging--and worse--any bald American who drifts by, and the RDD is generally goaded by his, if sometimes ill-defined to himself, feelings).
    AND, I really, really know about this--Betty girls are never, ever sure of themselves enough to initiate any smooching--way too risky (except maybe on the cheek at bedtime in a MOC--I once used this technique as a teenager with a college-aged houseguest of my parents on whom I had a crush--my heart is still racing--Steve Calhoun, where are you?) and rarely even kiss back (although The Venerable usually treats us to a great line upon the rare occasion when they do--"You might as well be hanged for a sheep as well as a lamb"). I was a notorious non-kissing single person--not sure if I ever initiated a kiss before Professor van der Hertenzoon swept me off my feet (and I was much older than many Betty heroines).
    You're welcome once again--my generosity knows no bounds,
    Betty JoDee

  25. Dear Lavishly Dense Betty JoDee:

    So his Veronica is so amoral that an RDD feels perfectly free to kiss any pretty heroine but not sufficiently inhuman that the RDD can dump her. (Because a gentleman never instigates the end of an engagement, I suppose.)

    Actually, that's not quite fair to The Great Betty -- she usually whisks the hateful Veronica off to the South of France or Paris so that the RDD has to make a trip to see her and leverage her out of his life. As we're never privy to those scenes, we can't be sure who dumps whom.

    Okay, I'll grant you that the heroine is, at least, internally consistent: she wouldn't kiss him before the MOC and she won't kiss him after the MOC. (I do rather hope she unbends a bit after implied conjugal relations get started...but we're never privy to those scenes either. And that's just fine.)

    But the RDD you're portraying is loony: he's goaded by his feelings into kissing the heroine while he's engaged or committed or even just casually dating some other chit, but as soon as there's a ring on his finger he's too gentlemanly to kiss his own wife? I would have thought that would be a double-shot of romantic espresso's worth of goading and internal rationalization: I love her, I'm married to her, and what's a little social peck, right? She won't guess at the depths and breadth of my love for her if I just kiss her lightly...

    Thank you for your unbounded generosity,

    Betty Magdalen

  26. Dear Delightfully Innocent Bettys,
    No RDD worth his salt can lay on the smooching once the finger's on her finger and stop there, hence his reticence in embarking on conjugal blisses when he is not sure she has agreed the escalation. An innocent bride could be led into something for which she is unprepared and unsure.

    Perhaps your view of an RDD is less of the red-blooded Dutchman that he is . . .maybe you have more of a case with phlegmatic-from-central-casting RBD *laugh.

    I live to serve,
    Betty JoDee

  27. To all the Bettys, Dense, Imaginative, or otherwise:

    In a MOC, there's almost always been a bargain struck, to hold off on Connubial Relations (no bliss assumed) so perhaps our RDDs are somewhat constrained by their sense of Honor?

    Just sayin'


  28. Right -- I get it. No conjugal bliss means no kissing. But they haven't made that a permanent condition of marriage, so there IS an implied agreement that escalation will take place, and should take place, eventually. And that escalation is going to include kissing.

    My question is, and has always been, why does the RDD kiss LESS after marriage than he did before?

  29. I love the reviews -- but the comments are nearly as good. :) (densely speaking...)

  30. This was a run read, the review and the comments.
    "we know they're off snogging--and worse--any bald American who drifts by"

    Americans are awesome even when bald, because American seems to imply rich and evidently bad driver.